Sunday, 10 June 2007

Any colour will do (except red, of course)

Adam Price's reaction to the suggestion by Ordovicius that the decision (to form a rainbow coalition) has already been made is entirely predictable. He claims that his demands of Labour are entirely reasonable and deliverable (but omits to say, of course, that they are very much 'his' demands, and have neither been discussed nor agreed by his party).

But, in a sense, whether they are deliverable and reasonable or not is not the issue. We can be certain that the Plaid leader will find some reason to reject any response which Labour might make - even if only on the flimsiest grounds put forward by Price that 'the ball is now in Labour's court'. The future of government in Wales decided by an argument about who telephones who?

Tomos Livingstone, writing in yesterday's Western Mail, seems to believe that Price is actually serious about wanting a deal with Labour. Similar comments (about preferring a deal with Labour) have been made by Price's constituency colleague, Rhodri Glyn Thomas. I wonder. I have a feeling that Ieuan Wyn Jones, Price, and Thomas all decided over a year ago that the way forward was a coalition with the Tories, and everything since then has been about manoeuvering events in that direction.

So why talk up a deal with Labour if you're not serious? The answer is to do with internal Plaid politics rather than reality. Price, in particular, needs to try and salvage some credibility on the Left of the party, and needs to try and create a position where he can say that he doesn't really want a coalition with the Tories, but Labour are forcing his hand. It cannot be helping Price's 'socialist credentials' for Nick Bourne to have described the proposed coalition as "An alternative to Socialism in Wales", or for Mike German to have talked about putting together "A non-socialist alternative to Labour".

All three of them are conscious that the vote within the party could go either way - contrary to what many commentators are saying. The question they need to ask themselves is whether transparent attempts to dismiss everything Labour say will actually help them or not.

3 comments:

Ordovicius said...

The answer is to do with internal Plaid politics rather than reality. Price, in particular, needs to try and salvage some credibility on the Left of the party, and needs to try and create a position where he can say that he doesn't really want a coalition with the Tories, but Labour are forcing his hand.

I agree with this analysis.

alanindyfed said...

All this talk about the Left and the Right of the party, and their differing views is not only irrelevant to the main issue; it is potentially damaging. Unity must be preserved at all costs while at the same time allowing for healthy debate. In unity lies strength.
As I see it.......
If it should happen that Plaid and Labour form a majority coalition government it goes without saying that Labour will have to accept the aims of full devolution and the creation of a Welsh Parliament with all the powers of the Scottish Parliament.

Hwyl.

Alan in Dyfed

www.alanindyfed.blogspot.com/
www.myspace.com/alanindyfed/

Ceredig said...

Alan,

The problem with trying to ignore any questions of Left and Right is that any party which wants to enter government has to have a coherent programme to present.

Should that programme be based on some core set of ideals and beliefs, os should it be based simply on whatever wins elections? Tony Blair clearly goes with the latter; but Plaid has traditionally gone with the former - and doing that leaves no way to avoid issues of left and right.

The problem with talk of left and right at present is that there is an implicit assumption that Labour is 'left' and the Tories are 'right'; but it's hard to substantiate that difference on the basis of what they actually say. They both look pretty 'right' to me.